Travel

Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

On The Art Trail In Arkansas

12/06/2011
Travel Writer

When I heard about a new museum of American art opening in the Arkansas Ozarks, I had two equally shameful reactions.

The New Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a state-of-the-art collection in the Ozarks. Hilary Larson

Chanukah Season San Francisco Style

The holiday, as only the hipster city can do it.

Travel Writer
12/01/2011

It’s Chanukah season in San Francisco — and in a city where every weekend features some one-of-a-kind festival, you can expect a lot more than candle lightings and latke parties. Try Yiddish drag queen caroling, a pop-up Jewish record store, Chinese-food comedy on Christmas, and a historic tribute to one of history’s wiliest Jews, Harry Houdini..

Traditionalists will still find menorahs and latkes. But San Francisco embraces the holidays with the same blend of hipster irony, earnest identity-probing and wacky originality that are its trademarks.

The Kinsey Sicks, a wisecracking barbershop quartet of drag queens.

The Quieter Caribbean

11/15/2011
Travel Writer

The smallest nation in the Americas still looks, in many respects, the way it must have looked in 1492, when Christopher Columbus glided by.

One of the islands resembled St. Christopher, to his way of thinking, so Columbus named it after himself. The other, a volcanic peak capped with frothy white clouds, looked snowy from afar — “nieves” to the Spanish crewmen.

A peaceful panorama of St. Kitts. St. Kitts Tourism

High Culture, Lowish Price

11/08/2011
Travel Writer

After Athens, Madrid might be the most-scrutinized world capital this month, as global leaders anxiously train their eyes on the Mediterranean financial meltdown.

But while cultural offerings are taking a hit in other cash-strapped cities, Madrid is the defiant exception. From the lavish gardens of the Royal Palace to expanded hours at the Prado, visitors to the Spanish capital will see scant evidence of crisis. 

Madrid’s inviting central alleys are packed with inexpensive lodgings. Hilary Larson

The New Culture Of Lodging

11/01/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

As I’ve been on the move lately, a kind of endless summer from March on the Pacific to October in Italy, I’ve noticed a sea of change in the world of travel lodgings.

Hilton and Marriott aren’t going anywhere. But for tens of thousands of travelers worldwide, the 10 a.m. checkout and the sterile mauve bedspread are becoming a thing of the past.

Views of the breakfast room at the Palazzo de Tomasi B&B in Gallipoli, Italy. Photo by Hilary Larson

A Different Roman Holiday

10/25/2011
Travel Writer

We were in Apulia, lounging on beaches along Italy’s coastal heel, when it occurred to my husband and me that both we and our rental car needed to be dropped off in Rome — 400 miles and two metropolitan traffic jams away.

We could have booked an airport hotel and written off the last day as a multi-hour schlep. But we wanted to extend our beach vacation to the very last possible hour — and in doing so we hit upon some inspired, even under-sung corners of Roman charm.

The beach at Anzio, located on a scenic point just south if Fiumicino. Photos by Hilary Larson

Along The Apulia Promenade

10/18/2011
Travel Writer

Lungomare is the Italian word for a seafront promenade. Every coastal town worth its dot on the Italian map has one: a stretch of travertine where lovers snuggle on benches, locals walk their dogs and everyone comes to contemplate the sea.

A piazza in Lecce Photos by Hilary Larson

The Languid Allure Of Apulia

10/04/2011
Travel Writer

Almost purely by accident, my husband and I ended up in a wild, raw landscape of olive groves, crumbling white-stone walls and vast blue sea views at every bend in the road. We were in Apulia — or Puglia, as the Southern Italian region is known locally — in search of that perfect Italian beach vacation: a little culture, a dose of history, but mostly gorgeous scenery and golden sand.

Gallipoli, on the Ionian coast, boasts a scenic beach as well as an ancient port and harbor. Hilary Larson

A Blast Of Culture

09/27/2011
Travel Writer

Few places combine the ancient and the novel with as much finesse as Israel. This fall, Israel travelers have several opportunities to experience the familiar in unexpected ways.

Blockbuster shofar exhibit at Bible Lands Museum includes a ram’s horn that belonged to a Buchenwald and Rosh HaShanah Stamps
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